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1- My English would have been better if I had some native friends.

2- My English would be better if I had some native friends.

what is the difference?
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Comments  
1 is past tense. It makes sense if you are talking about a past situation. "When I vacationed in Hawaii last year, I talked to some people there and my English would have been better if I had some native friends.

2 is present tense, and is talking about your present skills.
thank you Vorpar.
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Diamondrg1- My English would have been better if I had some native friends.

In addition, #1 implies that you do not now have native friends; that if you had native friends now, you would have had native friends then.

This kind of structure is common with a stative verb in the main clause:

1. If I were more intelligent, I wouldn't have made such a mess of my exams.

(Intelligence now implies intelligence then.)

MrP
MrPedantic
Diamondrg
1- My English would have been better if I had some native friends.

In addition, #1 implies that you do not now have native friends; that if you had native friends now, you would have had native friends then.

This kind of structure is common with a stative verb in the main clause:

1. If I were more intelligent, I wouldn't have made such a mess of my exams.

(Intelligence now implies intelligence then.)

doesn't it imply intelligence now at the same time?

MrP
Sorry, D., I meant:

1. If I were more intelligent, I wouldn't have made such a mess of my exams.

Being "more intelligent" now implies that at the time of the exams, I would also have been "more intelligent".

"Being intelligent" (in this sense) is like "having naturally red hair": if you have naturally red hair now, you had naturally red hair in the past.

Cf.

2. If I were naturally red-headed, I wouldn't have had to dye my hair to play Queen Elizabeth I.

MrP
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another wonderful explanation, thanks MrP.

(by the way here I used "another" thinking that it can't have a negative connotation. I hope it is positive or at least neutral.)
MrPedanticThis kind of structure is common with a stative verb in the main clause:

1. If I were more intelligent, I wouldn't have made such a mess of my exams.

(Intelligence now implies intelligence then.)

MrP
I see this as hypothetical, and the original as something that didn't happened in the past, am I right? So,
Could the first sentence be rephrased like this? What would be the difference?

My English would have been better if I had had some native friends.
Hello Latin

1. My English would have been better if I had some native friends.

In this sentence, the implication is: "I have no native friends now; if I did have some native friends now, I would probably also have had the same native friends in the past; if I had had native friends in the past, my English would have been better."

Which is (in effect) your revised sentence:

2. My English would have been better if I had had some native friends.

So both #1 and #2 are ways of looking at "something that wasn't the case in the past": #1 looks at an imaginary past from an imaginary "now", whereas #2 looks at an imaginary past from an imaginary past.

MrP
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